Worksop: Schools buck GCSE national exam failure trend

Schools closed to students as teachers take strike action (w131001-1h)
Schools closed to students as teachers take strike action (w131001-1h)
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Two Worksop schools are bucking the national trend for GCSE grades, according to new school league tables.

Outwood Academy Portland on Netherton Road and Outwood Academy Valley on Valley Road, are both well above the Government’s target for at least 40 per cent of pupils to achieve five or more A*-C grades, including maths and English.

The statistics show that 76 per cent of pupils at Outwood Academy Portland achieved five or more GCSE C grades or above including English and maths in 2014, with 73 per cent of pupils at Outwood Academy Valley.

Both schools are sponsor led with pupils aged 11-18 attending.

Dr Phil Smith, associate executive principal, said: “Once again, results day reveals that Outwood Academy Portland and Outwood Academy Valley achieve qualifications that place them in the top five per cent of the country.”

“It is only three years ago that Worksop schools were in the bottom five per cent of England, and the transformation under Outwood Grange Academies Trust has been breathtaking, with Outwood Academy Portland being recognised as the fastest turn-around for a secondary school, from ‘special measures’ to ‘outstanding’, ever.”

Overall, Nottinghamshire state-funded schools are above the national average of 56.6 per cent for achieving five good GCSE grades, with 58 per cent of pupils getting the required grades.

The league tables have recently been heavily criticised after changes were made to make exams more rigorous, which included only allowing a pupil’s first attempt at an exam to count towards school league tables. However, the tables have been defended by Education Secretary Nicky Morgan.

The number of schools failing to meet Government targets on GCSE grades has doubled to 330 schools.